Skip to main content
6:00 pm
>> hello, and welcome to the "journal" on dw-tv. this is dw-tv's special coverage of the earthquake disaster in japan. here is what is happening right now. a massive earthquake has hit northern japan, triggering a huge tsunami that devastated hundreds of miles of coastline. the earthquake measured 8.9 on the richter scale, one of the largest ever reported. the tremor sparked at least 80 fires. beyond japan, tsunami warnings not cover almost all of the pacific rim, from russia to south america.
6:01 pm
>> the earth and the ocean turned against japan on friday. a massive earthquake hit the country and triggered a tsunami that has devastated much of the country's northeastern shore line. police say more than 300 people have died, most of them in sendai, the city worsted. 500 people are missing. japan's prime minister has declared a nuclear emergency after the cooling system at a nuclear plant failed to people have been ordered to evacuate the area. but authorities in a radiation has been released. a tsunami warnings remain in effect for most of the pacific coastline of or to california. we begin with the latest from japan. >> even as further earthquakes shake japan, the initial cleanup has begun. the sheer size of the catastrophe poses equally enormous challenges. rubble has to be removed and fires need to be brought under
6:02 pm
control. this is the oil refinery that will likely continue to burn for days. rebuilding infrastructure will be a top priority. transportation has collapsed in cities hit by the earthquake. some subway lines in tokyo are reportedly up and running again. but millions of commuters remained stranded. >> i was on the train, so it was very strong and quite scary. >> those who cannot make it home spend the night in emergency shelters, like here in me augie -- in miyagi. >> the road show and heaved. it was terrible. >> i do not know how to get home. >> power outages are widespread, and the government has asked supermarkets to provide emergency supplies to those who need it. >> police in japan are now saying they expected the death toll to reach 1000. the kyoto news agencies reported that 1800 homes have been
6:03 pm
destroyed. we had this report on when the earthquake hit. >> in a shop in japan's second yalta -- second-largest city, staff and customers were caught off guard as the earthquake struck. the intensity of the earthquake increases. the power goes out. parts of the ceiling crashed down as patrons seek cover. a camera team is working outside and captures images of the moment the earthquake struck. shock and alwe. >> it is too dangerous, shouts the camera man. we have to get away from the building. >> i cannot stay on my feet. i have never experienced such an earthquake before. >> i had a feeling something like this would happen. it is really frightening. i am almost 70 years old and
6:04 pm
have never been through anything like this. >> the earthquake caused severe and widespread damage. the north of the country was started -- hardest hit, around the city of sendai, closest to the epicenter. in an instant, millions were left homeless, their houses and destroyed. many roads are torn up and impassible. but there was more. the earthquake triggered a massive tsunami, which inundated the neighboring coastal regions with waves of up to 10 meters high. the area around sendai was hit first and hardest by the tsunami waves. a wall of water swept away all in its path. people, pets, houses, cars, along with the crops, which are so important to this agricultural reason.
6:05 pm
the port that led to the north of the city felt the destructive power of the tsunami also. a whirlpool formed, catching giant ships in its current. earthquakes -- earthquakes are not new to japan, but does push the region to the breaking point. the government is appealing for calm. >> i want to tell you that the current wave we assume there is devastating damage. the government is doing all they can to rescue people and prevent further damage. >> for now, japan must try to cope with the damage and loss of life from its most powerful earthquakes since records began. >> let's go live to our
6:06 pm
correspondent in tokyo. the report coming in of another strong earthquake in japan. this in the northwest of the country. can you tell us more? >> that is right. we felt it in tokyo. a strong one, too. this is amazing because it is a completely different part of the country. it is on the western front, on the japan csi, a lark -- around nagano prefecture. there's a very popular hot spring around a that a lot of europeans might know of who have traveled to japan. it was apparently a 6.6. there was an earthquake there a couple years ago that did a lot of damage and killed a lot of people as well. the concern now is that the fault lines are so active, and when is the next one going to hit and where? >> you're also dealing with dozens of aftershocks following the main earthquake that took place about 14 hours ago, aren't you? >> that is right. what is amazing about this is
6:07 pm
that this is not on the pacific ocean side. this is completely on the other side of the mountain ranges of the country. it has got a lot of people spooked here in tokyo. we do not feel that we're out of trouble yet. we're still worried that there could be a direct hit on the city here as well. >> what is the latest on this situation at the nuclear power facility? >> well, the last report was that the government said that they believe they have it more under control, they were able to pour water to cool down the halot core of the reactor. hillary clinton also saying that u.s. forces were involved in helping out on that effort. there is still a lot of concern about some of the fires that are burning around sendai and other
6:08 pm
parts of the country. they are saying that the train lines are going to be down tomorrow as well. it will be very difficult when the sun comes up in a few hours for authorities in rescue workers to get into those devastated areas. >> yes, daybreak will be a very sobering experience for everyone in japan. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> japanese authorities are taking steps to make sure that the earthquake disaster does not lead to a nuclear catastrophe. officials at one of the nuclear power facility said they will release slightly radioactive vaguer -- a vapor to ease the dangers pressure in one of the reactors. the cooling system in that reactor failed after the are of great, forcing japan's prime minister to declare a nuclear emergency. 6000 people have been ordered to evacuate the area. it is the largest nuclear facility area with 14 reactors. i will talk more about that.
6:09 pm
i am joined live by the director of public communications with the world nuclear association in london. can you hear me? >> yes, i can. how severe is the switch and right now at fukushima? >> all director shut down, as they are operated to do. they all shutdown automatically. that much worked fine. where there was an apparent irruption, emergency generators all started up ok. but two reactors at one plant, the generators did not cut out after about an hour. the problem that gives rise to is that without electrical power, you cannot drive the pomumps needed to circulate the cooling water. that is the issue there. that has given rise to some concern over the last 12 hours. in restarting -- restoring
6:10 pm
electrical supply. >> officials say they are going to release radioactive weber. how dangerous is that for the reactor and for the people who are around the facility? >> not at all, i think. look, it will be modest. but we do not know yet. there is no indication that is likely to be any sort of dangerous level. but the fact is that there has been this breakdown in the electrical supply and hence in the cooling function. and that is serious, but it is not threatening anybody. >> you say the loss of power, the loss of electricity, is it the red for the facility. what about aftershocks in the area? >> well, i do not know. we will have to keep attend and hear what is reported. i do not know of the aftershocks -- to do not know any more than the maine utility
6:11 pm
is releasing on its web site. >> ok. that could have threatened the structural integrity of those reactors. >> i do not think there's any likelihood of that at all. there's no suggestion from any report so far that the integrity of the structure is at all threatened. >> thank you for joining us from london. >> you are welcome. >> tsunami warnings have now been lifted around much of the pacific rim, including australia, new zealand, hawaii, and the philippines. these wells will hit lists southern coasts in a few hours before in southern california, the surges caused damage to both in the santa cruz irina. waves in the north of the state were expected to reach as high as two meters. earlier, i spoke to andy
6:12 pm
goldberger in santa cruz and asked what he had been hearing about the tsunami hitting the state of oregon. >> there has not been any reports of major damage anywhere along the west coast up till now. people woke up. it was a quintessentially sunny california morning, but there were sirens in some cities. people were fearing the worst. but apart from the heavy tights that one usually sees with a tsunami is, the waves were very mild. and actually some people even welcomed the tsunami of fact, mostly the surfers rest to get into the water, hoping to ride some big waves. that was about the extent of the excitement. >> we have to wrap it up there. thank you for the report from
6:13 pm
california. >> steve is here with more on that nuclear emergency in japan. >> the critical focus on the fukushima facility is causing people to reassess the danger the nuclear power. japan has now declared a nuclear emergency that atomic power plant after cooling systems failed following the powerful earthquake. japan's aging economic -- atomic power plants have been considered secure. but it is relative in earthquake prone regions and radioactive material is involved. courts around a third of japan's energy comes from nuclear power. some plants have been operating more than 40 years. but in contrast to some european countries, japan plans to rely on nuclear power in the long term. there are 55 nuclear power plants in japan. two more are under construction, and 12 are in the planning stage. several active plants are located in the northern region hit hardest by the earthquake. as a precaution, the government
6:14 pm
has put its nuclear accident in birgit the protocol into affect and evacuated thousands of residents from the region. >> our global equity markets dropped on news of the earthquake. the yen fell initially but has since been showing a bit of resilience. this may reflect expectations that japanese investors could bring back funds from overseas, as was the case after the 1995 earthquake. the earthquake friday hit 15 minutes before the end of the trading week at the tokyo stock exchange, giving investors little time to react. but the nikkei index to close at a five-week low. japanese stock futures and continued to fall. europe market's drop for the third day running, erasing this year's advance. shares led lower by insurance companies. conrad paulson says this summary of the friday session in frankfurt.
6:15 pm
>> the images of the earthquake in and japan left their mark on the trading floor here in frankfurt. significantly under pressure can these shares in the big reinsurance companies. japan is a very developed country where many people and businesses have a lot of insurance policies. it is very likely that the big insurers will soon have to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake. in the man were japanese government bonds. the announcement of the bank of japan to support the economy and to support the financial markets led to the speculation here that the bank of japan will do this by buying japanese government bonds itself. >> we can stay in frankfurt for a closer look at the numbers. germany blue chip dax closed at the 6981. the euro stoxx 50 sabina 0.5%, 2883. the dow jones trading up by
6:16 pm
0.6%, showing a bounceback, trading at 12,062. in currency markets, the currency trading at $1.3888. it will take several days at a minimum of for the scale of the natural disaster in japan to be fully understood. but it is clear that the country's infrastructure has been temporarily crippled. several major factor is that been severely damaged. and the facilities and people who work in them will be having other priorities in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. >> japan is one of the world's most highly industrialized countries. with gross domestic product for 2010 the equivalent of 3.8 trillion years. it is the third largest economic power after the u.s. and china. the prefectures are important to industrial regions, home to most of japan's automotive and aerospace industries, as well as high-tech and food companies.
6:17 pm
the region is also important for the country's energy provision. the japanese oil company operates oil depots and refineries there. >> thank you. >> we will be right back with more coverage of the japan earthquake and the tsunami in about one minute from now. >> how well we live in the future? how will we communicate? get from point a to point b?
6:18 pm
our tree diseases? leading scientists are looking for answers to the most pressing issues in germany and around the world. future now, innovations shipping tomorrow. our series in at tomorrow today on its dw-tv and on the internet. >> welcome back. updating our top story. a massive earthquake has hit japan, unleashing a tsunami, which has devastated much of the northeast of the country. the 8.9 earthquake on the richter scale is one of the strongest ever recorded. police say they fear more than 1000 people may have been killed, most of them in sendai, the city worst hit. 500 people are missing. the impact was felt as far away as tokyo, some 400 kilometers from the epicenter. tsunami warnings remain in effect for most of the pacific coastline, all the way to the west coast of the united states.
6:19 pm
japan is located on what is known as the pacific ring of fire, with its numerous volcanoes lining the edges of tectonic plates. when these plates shift, the tension released can cause earthquakes. >> the earthquake did massive damage throughout northern japan. it is said to be the strongest earthquake to hit the country in years. the japanese know that an earthquake can strike at any time. and school children are taught safety precautions and learn what the risk of earthquakes in the country is so high it. japan is located at the convergence of four huge tectonic plates. the pacific, north american, your region, and philippine. when these plates grind together, the friction can trigger an earthquake like the one that struck japan on friday afternoon local time. there are many potential sources of this version of around the pacific rim. this area is of the ring of fire because of a number of active volcanoes along these tectonic
6:20 pm
boundaries. 90% of the world's earthquakes occur there, with japan situated in the danger zone. >> all right, we're joined by a member of the german research center for it geosciences. what can we expect in the next few hours? are we talking about more aftershocks? of course, we had the tsunami. >> the tsunami is moving in already hit taiwan, indonesia, hawaii, and already off the coast of oregon and parts of california. so far, the significant destruction has been reported from these tsunamis. i think it is safe to expect that along the coast of the pacific, we do not have to expect too strong destruction that all. however, japan is completely different. we will have to expect very strong aftershocks in the next days, weeks, and even months ahead. as the rule of soup, you consider the largest aftershocks are usually larger than the main shock. we're talking about an 9.7
6:21 pm
earthquake. given that beat ruptured extend all along the eastern coast of japan, these aftershocks can actually happen on the southern tip. that would be very close to the metropolitan area of tokyo. >> tokyo could still be threatened by this bill are we also talking about the possibility of more tsunamis with these aftershocks? >> yes, as long as we have aftershocks with the same mechanism that happened at the boundary of shore. we could have more tsunamis. >> were there any sign that could have suggested that this type of earthquake was going to take place? >> and not at all. there are no chances to predict earthquakes. the japanese researchers -- we are working together to create models to forecast earthquakes and looking at them over time to learn more about the physics of earthquakes. we hope that someday we will be able to give a little better
6:22 pm
estimate than it today. today, it is not possible. >> you have spent time in japan. when you say that the japanese are the most prepared when it comes to dealing with a severe earthquake? >> i would say yes. they're trained from early childhood on in schools. the government is providing a lot of information about what to do in case of an earthquake, where to find water, where together, and where you can expect help. that is a very important for the people in japan. and i think no other country, these measures are in place. >> ok, we have to wrap it up there. with the german research center for it geosciences. thank you for giving us a little bit of explanation about what is going on. >> in other news, troops loyal to libyan leader moammar gaddafi appeared to be making further headway against rebels. on friday, soldiers escorted foreign journalists to is are we
6:23 pm
had to show that gaddafi is firmly in control there. zarwiya is a key city close to the capital tripoli, and it was the largest city in the west of the country captured by rebels. it has also seen some of the most fierce fighting between pro-gaddafi and rebel forces. >> european leaders held a crisis summit on friday on the conflict in libya. the europe calling on moammar gaddafi to relinquish power immediately. we have more from the summit. >> the german chancellor had a warm greeting for french president nicolas sarkozy in british prime minister james cameron. but personal friendship has not lead to consensus on libya. merkel predicted british and french proposals for military intervention. >> we have not spoken in detail about it. it is clear that we cannot reach a decision today because the necessary legal requirements are not in place.
6:24 pm
and we have not secured cooperation agreements from regional organizations. >> and embarrassing predicament for sarkozy, who has taken the lead in formulating a european response to the libyan crisis. but he could at least point out some progress. >> the european council has unanimously decided that gaddafi must go. as of today, a gaddafi is no longer an official contacted the european union. >> but eu leaders believe that unilateral action is not an option. for now, they're concentrating on a joint program of humanitarian aid for libya and consultations with the arab league and the average union. >> european leaders have agreed in principle on a pact that would better cordingley eurozone
6:25 pm
economic policy. it is an effort to deal with the burgeoning debt crisis. for the first time, chancellor angela merkel showed willingness to extend the bailout fund to troubled eurozone economies. prior to the summit, portugal announced new spending cuts to restore confidence in its findings. we're going to go back to our correspondent chris johnson in tokyo. a second major earthquake in the northwest part of japan. tell us about that. >> that is right. they have just revised it up to 6.7. that is a major earthquake. it is in a completely different part of the country than the one that hit as earlier in the the day. we could feel it in tokyo. not quite sure the reports of damage it. but there's also a report now that -- this is according to japan railways, they do not know what happened to four trains in the tsunami hit area of miyagi,
6:26 pm
around sendai, near the epicenter. >> are you saying that four trends have been lost? are we assuming that have been lost in flooding? >> well, it could be. this is according to the japan railways. this often happens in a tsunamis here. in 1923, the huge earthquake that destroyed tokyo, the waves came in and pull the train into the water. it has happened in other places, too. that is a concern, but we cannot say right now what happened to those trains. >> before we let you go, daybreak is approaching their. what is going to take place as soon as there is light? what are you expecting? >> a better chance to see a lot of the damage, especially in the northeast where it is still very difficult to find out what is going on because of the darkness. power is out in so many parts of the country, so daylight is going to shine a lot of light on
6:27 pm
damage. >> ok, thank you very much. please stay tuned to dw-tv for the latest on the earthquake catastrophe in japan. i am brent goff in berlin. for all of us here, thank you for watching. captioned by the national captioning institute ♪
6:28 pm
6:29 pm
6:30 pm
>> hinojosa: as shifting demographics change america's museums, one institution is wrestling with how to showcase the artwork of all latinos. with us today, the director of new york city's el museo del barrio, julian zugazagoitia. i'm maria hinojosa, this is one on one. julian zugazagoitia, nice to have you here as the director of el museo del barrio, from new york city. >> thank you for your invitation. >> hinojosa: so you are born in mexico city, then you spend
6:31 pm
about 20 years living in europe, and then in 1999, you come to new york to work at the guggenheim, and then you're named to head up this museum called el museo del barrio. >> correct. >> hinojosa: so el museo del barrio started kind of as a puerto rican institution, very grass roots, very community-based... >> correct. >> hinojosa: ...and it's had to change its mission. >> we've had to more than change it. we have amplified its mission, so over the course of the last 40 years-- and it's... we're celebrating our 40th anniversary with a big expansion of el museo, a big renovation of el museo. and over the 40 years, what has changed is also the profile of the us as perhaps the most diverse latino country. >> hinojosa: because basically, 40 years ago, el barrio, spanish harlem, was predominantly-- it had been italian at one point-- but it was predominantly a puerto rican community. >> correct, and el barrio has always been a place of immigrants, and i think that is also something very, very, very
6:32 pm
imporant to notice is that that part of the upper east side of manhattan has always been very welcoming. and before italian, it was irish, and so it has that tradition. but definitely since the '40s, puerto ricans started making el barrio their home, and then the name, therefore, el barrio. and it is very, very... a sense of the place where they would gather. then there's the creation of organizations and institutions like la marqueta where they would shop, and so it is full of history. and el museo emerges, also, of those social movements in the '60s-- in the late '60s-- where different communities were looking and researching for their own roots and to be respected for their contributions. and definitely, the artistic contributions is what the people around el museo del barrio were fighting for. >> hinojosa: because at that time-- i mean, we're talking 1969... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...the throes of the civil rights movement across
6:33 pm
the country... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and in new york, the puerto rican community basically felt that they were excluded from many parts of the city, but certainly in terms of a cultural expression. >> correct. >> hinojosa: and so it's born from this basically grassroots artists saying, "we want a space; we want to be visible; we want to be recognized." >> i think... exactly. the climate was that, and there's one artist that was approached by the department of education in those years that is the son of puerto rican parents that has already gone to art school at pratt-- so downtown-- and who's starting to lead a very prominent international career. his name is raphael montañez ortiz, and the department of education approaches him to build some curriculum so that curriculum studies will bring some of that puerto rican experience of being a latino artist to the schools. and he says, "no, we're going to create a museum. curriculum is not good enough." and apparently, they and... and
6:34 pm
then the man from the department of education was like, "well, that's so ambitious," i mean, "this is a very young man, imagine," and on. >> hinojosa: and he's basically saying... >> saying, "i'm going to create..." >> hinojosa: ..."i want to create a major cultural institution in new york city. >> and his answer to this man who's saying, "this is very ambitious," he said, "if i were an alpinist, i would be the first puerto rican climbing the everest, and i think climbing the everest may be easier than founding a museum today, in retrospect." and raphael ortiz did it. it started very tiny. it actually started on the upper west side in a classroom, and from there, he went on a trip with these people from the department of eduction to puerto rico and collected some objects. so it really... our founding history has to do immediately of becoming a collecting institution. so we were one of the, perhaps, most long history of a latino institution collecting works of art, which is the proper role of a museum-- carrying and collecting and developing a collection. so he brought some taino
6:35 pm
objects, some prints, and some sand art, poular art, santos de palo, and from that small collection, little by little, it grew. and we've been, since 1977, what i would consider really the cornerstone of our development. the crossroads between fifth avenue-- museum mile, and today we are the top of museum mile at 104th street-- and well, 104th street, the entryway to el barrio. >> hinojosa: to el barrio. and probably, we should probably spend one second just explaining to people, because they're saying, "what's this word 'el barrio'?" >> uh-huh. >> hinojosa: el barrio means... neighborhood. >> totally, mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: it means community. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: but in new york, el barrio meant puerto ricans, really. i mean, there was a sense that el barrio ( speaking spanish ). it was a kind of puerto rican town. >> it was home. i mean, i think i would even go futher. i think it meant home, and as we were saying earlier, el museo in its growth, then now, on this
6:36 pm
corner-- fifth avenue, 104th street-- it's the best of both words. it's really the integration of the highest museum concentration in the world of the best quality of the museums going from the met, the guggenheim, the jewish museum, the design museum, the cooper-hewitt. you know, you have all of those museums lined up, and so now, the city museum of new york, which is our neighbor, and then el museo del barrio has a home from which to really propel our culture. >> hinojosa: but the truth is is that there was a long time, once el museo kind of gets off and running, that el museo del barrio was kind of seen as, you know, as that kind of arts institution up there in spanish harlem. it was not necessarily taken seriously as a true, artisic museum, per se. i mean, what... there was that kind of feeling towards el museo del barrio, right? i mean, kind of like second... second-class citizen? >> well, i think... i think
6:37 pm
it's, again, a question of time, and i think it's so hard to develop an institution, and i think one has to give it to each of those board members, staff people, directors, that little by little, grew it. and it kind of had a life, and you know that also the crisis of the city in the '70s was not very helpful, and so the life of el museo has been of constant growth and a little bit of tweaking. but i think what was most decisive in the growth of el museo is the last, i would say, ten, 15 years. and when my predecessor, susana torruella leval, took it as director, she was the one also sensing how much the community around el museo had been changing. >> hinojosa: because people don't realize that, you know, mid-1980s... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...el barrio-- and i was actually living there at the time... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...starts... and i... because i'm mexican and i remember, you know, being in that neighborhood and not... not seeing any mexicans, and then all of a sudden, one night, 2:00 in the morning, i'm in a cab and
6:38 pm
i start to hear mexican ranchera music on lexington avenue and 116th street and i said, "okay, this is it." >> totally. >> hinojosa: basically, el barrio starts yet another kind of a transformation; this one where you're seeing the complexity of the latino experience, where it's not just puerto ricans-- who, by the way, are not immigrants, per se, because they're born as american citizens. but then, el barrio becomes more mexican, more domincan, more kind of diverse. when you are named the head of el museo del barrio, there is a huge controversy. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: you're the first non-puerto rican to head what is considered, actually, in its formation, a puerto rican cultural institution. talk a little bit about what that was like. you have this artistic background from, you know, from louvre and the sorbonne, and then you come into this institution. they're saying, "hey, wait a second; you may be latino, you may be mexican, but you don't
6:39 pm
represent what el museo del barrio's supposed to be all about. >> correct, and actually, that was... that was... i was surprised a little bit by that. i think, you know, in a way it was... i was selected by my artistic credentials and my understanding of the richness, complexity of latino/latin american culture. but that... that tension that existed-- and again, at the beginning, with that... what... that pushing back, what it really told me is how important this institution was for the community. so it was a really validating factor that the museum has been doing very good work, if people felt so powerful about it, you know? >> hinojosa: so connected to it. >> exactly. so at the same time, one of the things that was very important is to make sure that as... and i think the hardest part of expanding the mission really, really was the work of my predecessor, of susana leval, who really understood that new york was changing so much and
6:40 pm
that in order for the museo to continue to grow, it had to really accomdate and think about all the new communities that were part of the latino experience. >> hinojosa: let me... let me stay with you for what it was like for you, again, as a mexicano, because you also kind of have to come into your own identity as a... not just a mexicano, but now as not just a latin american, but as a latino. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: which is quite different than... you know, you're not a latino when you live in latin america. you're a latino when you come to the united states. >> totally, no, and i think that is... that is a fascinating thing. so while this had happened, i thought that that opening of the mission and that embracing had already been done. so i come to museo and i... i... there is all this controversy, and the reason i was drawn to el museo in this particular stage of my life was the fact that i had grown to be a latino in europe, actually. because in mexico, no, you're just there, you know? but as i moved to europe and then when i started working at
6:41 pm
unesco, well, there was subgroups of... and the... the group of caribbean and latin american people to discuss some issues. so there, both in the artistic communities of poets, of artists and everything, i encountered the fact that i participated to a larger thing than being mexican, but it was that we have so much in common and we shared so many experience. and so moments that i will always treasure is meeting the big artist, the chilean artist roberto matta. >> hinojosa: lucky you! >> he was like a mentor to a younger group of artists that had created a group, and just there and that is where i was starting to write about art and meeting artists like saul kaminer or... you know? there were a group of artists, poets, literary people, and that's when i define, "oh, i participate, belong, to a conversation that is latin american, and that we have so much in common."
6:42 pm
and then when i got to new york, and that's when i realize what an importance that that i had discovered, and that it was not as present in europe. in the united states it has a very particular meaning, and it is something that more and more people are enjoying. so what is very... and so when i'm offered to go to el museo del barrio, i think i took it as a responsibility for thinking about this identity for the future of our kids, you know, in that sense. >> hinojosa: but you're... you're thrown into this kind of major debate around latino identity... >> mm-hmm, mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and you know, a lot of people look at the latino community, and just say, "it's a latino community..." >> mm-hmm, mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and have a hard time saying, "well, this person is mexican, or "this person is dominican," and "this person is chilean." there's a kind of homogeneity that people would like to see in the latino community, but in fact, i always like to say we're at the tip of the iceberg in terms of understanding the complexity of latino reality in
6:43 pm
this country. i mean, there's... how can you possibly... well, i mean, this is a good question for you. how can you possibly be a museum of latino art? >> well... >> hinojosa: what is latino art? >> i think that you're touching the most complex question of all, of course, and let me tell you how we try to address that at el museo. first of all, the important thing is to recognize that yes, if there is a big label called "latino," the label is to be made so we can define it-- so it's an active process of defining. >> hinojosa: and it's always changing. >> and it's... it will change. and... >> hinojosa: and we should be open to that change? >> to explore it, at least. and on the other side, we have a tremendous respect for the history, for the artistic contributions of individuals that have their own history. so what we try to do is balance a program in which individual expressions come. but what i feel is that we have so much more in common sometimes-- that the things that divide, sometimes, are communities. and so el museo has prided
6:44 pm
itself of always bringing the best of each of our artists, the best of our poets, the best of our writers, to share and partake in what we have. and i think by doing that, also what we've gained is a visibility that-- and also, i think it is part of so a common trend-- more non-latinos are attracted by understanding and joy and excitement of latino culture. so for someone who doesn't know those subtle differences, we kind of portray like we are a trusted venue in which you will discover something specific about our latino culture. and that is the... yeah. >> hinojosa: when people say, though, "well, wait a second. el museo del barrio was supposed to be a community-based organization that showcased community artists..." >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and critics say, "well, wait a second. now at el museo del barrio you can go in and see the artwork of frida kahlo..." >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: "...or you're going to see taino relics." and they're going to say, "well, wait a second.
6:45 pm
that's not community-based art." so what do you say to that? how do you separate community-based art, the importance of community-based art, versus the kind of refined perspective of fine art, and elevating latinos there? >> well, i think it comes with the maturity of our organization, and it comes with the transformation of our organization. and the fact that what we pride ourselves to be is always open for the community, and the community has embraced... this past saturday we had 2,000 people coming for an event we called super sabado. so check on your web sites if you're looking at us, and see when is the next super sabado. because there are events for all the families. it starts in the morning, and it goes through the day for different kind of audiences. but you can partake. but what we have to guarantee is that whether you're an abuelita or a young child that the qualtiy of the art is the most elevating one that you will find. why?
6:46 pm
because we're in new york. because we're competing against the met. we're competing against the moma. and so that is what has pushed and really made the move of el museo forward insofar that if we're competing with those great institutions, we have to showcase for the enlightenment of all our communities the best art. and in doing that, it's always dialogues. i mean, it's the curators that work at el museo who are working on this. we take enormous time, pride, of working closely with artists. and so for instance we have our biennial, and now we're going to be preparing for the next one. the biennial is the work of identifying latinos and latin americans that work within a two-three hours radius of our museum and see what they're doing, what they're creating. so our... we receive sometimes 600 files-- and it's called the selected files-- for unsolicited files, and it's wound down until the curators get a very close
6:47 pm
approach with each of the artists to nurture them. >> hinojosa: but what do you see when you kind of look into the future of, let's say, ten, 20 years from now? you know, latinos are now considered the largest minority group. i don't like the term "minority," but for lack of a better term. or the second majority. you want to call it that? >> hinojosa: the second majority. i like that. so what about cultural institutions down the line, when people say, "wait a second-- all of our cultures are all meshing together. do we need a museum of latino art?" do we need, for example... right now the name of the museum that's coming up in washington, the national museum of the american latino. wait a second-- aren't we all american? shouldn't we all be sharing each other's culture? i mean, you have these kinds of discussions within el museo all the time, i'm sure. >> totally. and i think... yeah, some people say, "well, if everybody shows latin american art, latino art..." like right now, more and
6:48 pm
more museums are starting to either have a curator that deals with latin american art, or have collections expanding, or even showcasing temporal shows. but at the same time, you always have to redefine your mission accordingly, and take stock of what's going around you. and i think el museo has proposed a number of artists and everything. so it's still relevant, because we do it 365 days a year. some museums will put one show, and then three years later put another one. so i think of el museo as a platform. and i think exhibitions are just really the tip of the iceberg of what we do, because what we really do day in, day out is serve more than 50,000 children and families through our education department. so any given day, you have children coming, not only looking at an exhibition, going to our labs on the third floor, doing hands-on workshops. we will have at any given time arts educators from el museo in
6:49 pm
the schools in the five boroughs. >> hinojosa: so that's one of the things that you consider central, this question of maintaining the education, of really building up the next generation of latino artists. but i wonder... >> and museumgoers. and i would say what we really work is on visual literacy, and the appreciation of and understanding that art can transform your life. so we're not into making art historians or artists of each of the children that are arts educators, but in giving them tools that, with our cultural heritage, that they can define, they can enrich themselves. and you don't have to be latino to enjoy and enrich yourself with our heritage. >> hinojosa: but there are certain particularities of things that happen within the latino community, complexities that are being faced. one of them is the class complexity. >> totally. >> hinojosa: how do you, as the director of a museum based in el barrio deal with the issue of these kind of... on the one hand, a very wealthy part of the latino community, on the other hand an entirely disenfranchised
6:50 pm
and scared... >> well, actually, i mean, this is a very, very important point. and i think in most communities also this kind of a duality exists. but i think never as pointed as in our latino community. on the one side, the very positive thing is that more and more of these people of certain wealth are becoming philanthropic, you know? and for us latinos it has never been the normal thing, because in our countries there's not this notion of philanthropy like it is valued here in the us. so more and more we're starting to see newcomers or generations of self-made latinos starting to be philanthropic. now, of course, the first needs they address sometimes is legal representation, education, health. art comes after we have taken care of that. on the other side, these very generous people that support el museo, they support el museo because they know that we are taking care of this other group of people. and our education programs and a lot of our public programs have that in particular.
6:51 pm
so of all the schools we serve-- we serve 254 schools right now-- many of them are in the poorest neighborhoods. many of them immediately have also the biggest... we're averaging 60% to 70% minorities in those schools, where the average latino population in public schools in new york is 40%. so of course our efforts are concerted so that they benefit from the existence of a cultural institution that is closer to their needs. and then we also take account of the fact that yes, it is intimidating. imagine that your parents immigrated here, they're hardworking, they barely speak english. the kids start to be the go-between. and let me tell you one anecdote, one beautiful thing that happened one day. a museum is not a place that normally these hardworking people would go. but because we have a... we go very presently to their schools and everything, and we gave bilingual fliers to come for
6:52 pm
free to el museo, one girl was touring her father. so you see the pride first of the girl explaining to her father, this man that perhaps that was a first experience going through the threshold of a museum. a bit intimidating and everything, but the bond that was happening there was amazing. so we're really working for making those young children, those new latinos, new americans, that are the future of this country are proud of their heritage, that they now also are ambassadors toward the parents. completely different than what happened. my parents dragged me to museums, and i hated it, you know? i don't know how things changed eventually. >> hinojosa: your parents dragged you to museums and you hated it? >> i didn't like it. i didn't like it. i didn't like it. it wasn't until i started going on my own... >> hinojosa: okay, so that means lesson for everybody-- it's okay if you sometimes drag your kids to a museum. you never know-- your kid might end up being a museum director. >> and i drag my kids, and they don't like it, you know? but the early experience, this is important. early exposure to art, it's
6:53 pm
moments... when we go to classrooms, it's the moment in which there's a bit of freedom in the curriculum, it's like... in which they can express themselves. and beauty comes out of that, you know? >> hinojosa: so when you think about the future, you know, this is kind of your more position as a curator, and as arts... what does latino art look like in the future if now, you know, you're second or third generation? and what about those artists who say, "look, i'm an artist. i happen to be latino, and part of that influences me, but i'm an artist. don't label me as a latino artist, because i'm an artist." >> that is happening more and more. and for instance, there was recently a very important retrospective of the work of gabriel orozco at the museum of modern art in new york. and gabriel orozco comes in a generation that studied in the '90s, and is really an international postconceptual
6:54 pm
globetrotter kind of artist that today defines himself by the myriad of experience that he has had. so more and more i think... of course, all of our history influences and informs everything we do. but some artists i think feel they have more in common with an international group of artists, or international issues that they're dealing with. and also, for instance, today, an artist drawing in new york has more in common with another artist living in london or mumbai-- they are big capitols, big cities, in which a lot of things are going on-- then someone painting in chihuahua, you know? so rural, urban, global connections are changing the way we think. so perhaps the labels will be urban artists versus rural artists at one point or another. >> hinojosa: so if there is a young latino artist, or any artist, your message to them is
6:55 pm
what, as they're watching this and they're saying, "look, that's a huge art world, there's no way i can compete"? as director of el museo del barrio, what do you want these young people who are thinking about the arts, what's the message? >> the message, i think, is contemporary art really is a translation of what people are living. so i would recommend, go to see all the galleries. galleries... i mean, if you're living in a city like new york or boston, or that there are galleries representing artists, go to all the shows. they're free, and you can enter. you can even sometimes sip a little bit of wine in their opening. go and see what other artists are doing, how they're expressing themselves, and live life at the fullest. because it's only then that your art will also be at the fullest. so i think expressing oneself... and if you have it inside, just go for it with all your heart. >> hinojosa: well, good luck with el museo del barrio. >> well, we invite all of you who are watching to come and to visit us, whether online-- we have a nice new web site after
6:56 pm
our reopening-- or to visit us physically, because we have transformed to be more welcoming and more embracing for all. >> hinojosa: gracias, julian. >> gracias. continue the conversation at captioned by media access group at wgbh
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm

Sino Tv Early Evening News
PBS March 11, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PST


TOPIC FREQUENCY Hinojosa 11, Tokyo 11, New York 11, Japan 8, El Barrio 7, Sendai 6, Europe 6, California 4, Pacific 4, Us 4, New York City 3, Frankfurt 3, London 3, Department Of Education 3, Libya 3, Puerto Rican 3, Latin American 2, Miyagi 2, El Museo Del Barrio 2, Spanish Harlem 2
Network PBS
Duration 01:00:00
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 107 (693 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 3/12/2011